The Green Revolution, spearheaded by Monkomb Sambasivan Swaminathan in the 1960s and ’70s, played a pivotal role in transforming Indian agriculture and bolstering the nation’s food security.
Introduction of High-Yielding Varieties (HYVs):
- Green Revolution focused on deploying High-Yielding Variety seeds to enhance crop productivity.
- Example: In Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, farmers were provided with HYV seeds, leading to a significant increase in crop yields.
Improvements in Wheat Production:
- Post-independence (1947), India’s annual wheat production stood at approximately 6 million tonnes.
- By 1962, the introduction of Green Revolution practices elevated wheat output to nearly 10 million tonnes.
- Noteworthy Surge: Between 1964 and 1968, annual wheat production soared from 10 million to almost 17 million tonnes.
- Example: The Green Revolution brought about remarkable changes in wheat cultivation, addressing the deficiency in traditional varieties and substantially boosting overall production.
Challenges in Traditional Varieties:
- Traditional wheat and rice varieties were tall and prone to lodging, hindering efficient harvesting.
- Lodging Issue: These varieties tended to fall flat on the ground, especially when laden with grains due to high fertilizer doses.
- Solution: Swaminathan’s research aimed to develop semi-dwarf varieties that were less susceptible to lodging, contributing to more effective crop management.
- Example: The implementation of lodging-resistant semi-dwarf rice varieties resulted in improved crop stability and yields.
Struggles in Semi-Dwarf Wheat Development:
- Attempts to create semi-dwarf wheat varieties using mutagenesis faced challenges.
- Drawback: Reducing plant heights simultaneously led to a decrease in the size of grain-bearing panicles.
- Collaboration: Swaminathan sought expertise from American scientist Orville Vogel, known for his work on dwarf wheat varieties.
- Example: Collaboration with Vogel paved the way for the development of dwarf wheat varieties, such as Gaines, incorporating high-yield traits suitable for Indian conditions.
In conclusion, Monkomb Sambasivan Swaminathan’s efforts in advancing the Green Revolution, marked by the introduction of high-yielding varieties and innovative approaches to tackle traditional crop challenges, significantly contributed to India’s journey towards food security.
The transformation of wheat cultivation exemplifies the revolutionary impact, demonstrating the adaptability of agricultural practices to meet the growing demands of a burgeoning nation.